What Champions Can You Take Conqueror On? - A Guide to the Conqueror Rune
Mon 16th Mar 2020 - 6:02pm
When League of Legends players think of AP champions, most think of spellcasters like Ryze, Cassiopeia, and Xerath, who rely on their abilities more than an AD champion (who relies more on their auto attacks). (So, for the sake of this article, when I mention AP champions I am generalizing them as ranged and ability reliant, as that is their majority.) AP champions take runes like Electrocute if they want to burst down enemies quickly or Arcane Comet to bully enemies in lane with long ranged abilities. So, with that in mind, why on earth have they been taking Conqueror? To understand this, we will first take a look at the history of the rune and how it has led up to the iteration it is at now.
Conqueror is a fairly new rune, introduced shortly after the release of Season 8 (8.6 to be exact) as an addition to the Precision tree. When it was first introduced, the rune could be stacked on minions (only once it has already been activated on an enemy champion), making it easy to keep the stacks high enough to be ready to battle at any time. At full stacks, it gave the user increased damage as well as bonus true damage. (At this point, the rune has not yet been given the healing we know it to have today).
This was incredibly powerful for melee AD champions looking for a decently long fight or duel, such as Fiora, Yasuo, or Jax. With this rune in their arsenal, they were able to win fights easily with the massive true damage bonus. By building items like Black Cleaver or Sterak’s Gage, the champions taking this rune could build a bit tankier than normal and still put out a lot of damage, making them almost impossible to deal with.
Not long after the rune’s release, Riot Games added a healing aspect to the rune to give champions taking the rune more sustain, but as a price, they took away some of it’s damage to even it out. It also changed the text from giving the user "attack damage" to "adaptive force". This means that AP champions like Diana now have a reason to take the rune. Not only that, but the rune can no longer be stacked on minions, giving the rune another blow. In addition to these aforementioned changes, the rune got some rather odd text.
Now, the rune says that it will give one stack on Conqueror to a champion every five seconds when it deals damage over time (DOT). This works for champions like Teemo and Darius, who can use this text to give them more stacks from their relative DOT effects (that being bleed and poison).
This patch is a pivotal part of the rune, as it now has more wiggle room for certain AP champions to take the rune (due to adaptive force) and sets up for champions like Cassiopia to take the rune due to its new DOT text.
Then, in Patch 9.23, the rune got a massive overhaul, changing it to the point where it was hardly the same rune. However, it is here where AP champions are now able to use the rune. The patch changes are as follows:
- The rune no longer converts damage against champions to true damage
- The rune now heals for 15% (instead of the previous 8%) when in combat with enemy champions
- Melee champions now get two stacks per auto (and ranged champions still get one)
- Stacks of the rune remain active for 8 seconds for ALL champions, ranged or melee
- Lastly, the rune gives more adaptive force overall based on level
At a first glance, it may seem like the rune’s damage was completely gutted due to the lack of true damage. Sure it would heal for a decent amount, but what about the true damage? Well, with the rune in the state it is in now, it doesn’t need it. Because the rune heals for so much and the adaptive force damage per level was raised the rune does a perfect job at what it was meant to do, sustain champions in a prolonged fight and give them a slight edge in damage.
True damage was a nice plus, but with the state the rune is in now, it is no longer an integral part of the workings of it.
The last, and most recent change to the rune, decreased the healing of ranged champions from 15% to 8% (so back to where it started). But if the rune was in such a good spot before, why bother nerfing AP champions when it wasn’t their rune to begin with? Well, the answer is simple, it was too strong.
Because champions like Ryze, Cassiopeia, and Xerath had such a range advantage over their melee enemies, they could be stacking the rune much easier than them and heal off of it. This gave them an incredible advantage in the early game and allowed these weaker champions to scale into a game where they have a fighting change.
Even still, with these changes AP champions can get bonus damage from the rune to help them bully out enemies, (and it still heals after all, just not as much) so the rune is still worth taking on AP champions.
So, with all this in mind, why should you be taking Conqueror on the next AP champion you play instead of a rune like Electrocute or Phase Rush? Well, I’ll tell you why.
Champions like Ryze do well with many runes, Phase Rush gives him the movement speed he desperately needs to disengage from a fight or to chase down his enemies. He could take Electrocute to burst down his low health enemies in one combo of abilities. He could even take Arcane Comet to bully out melee enemies so that he can slowly poke them down. With all these advantages on a champion like this, what does Conqueror have to offer?
Conqueror is a great rune to take on almost any Top/Mid Laner, or maybe even a jungler. This is because it is still the same rune as I explained earlier. It gives him a big advantage in lane. Imagine this, you are playing as Ryze in the top lane against a Jax and you both have Conqueror. Jax has a strong engage, so it is best to keep a distance so he doesn't jump on you. However, you have the range in this matchup. By using your Overload (Q) ability you can poke him out for damage, all the while slowly gaining stacks of the rune (which now lasts for eight seconds). By the time you are both level 3, he can dive on you easily, making for a scary fight.
But keep in mind, you have Conqueror. Yes, he may have it to, but it doesn't matter in this scenario. Because you have Conqueror, you can heal off of your attacks, even if it is a fraction of the enemy Jax's. If you can sustain long enough to use Rune Prison (W), you can lock him in place and unleash a full combo, giving you the advantage in stacks and (potentially) allow you to kill him before he knows what has hit him.
So, now that you know you need to take Conqueror on your next AP champion, the question now is what secondary runes should you take? The answer is; it varies on the matchup! If you are against a lane bully, consider taking the Resolve tree (something like bone plating) to negate some of that early damage and let you get to the late game.
If you know you’ve got the matchup in the bag, domination is a great option. This is because most AP champions have some sort of crowd control (CC) or a dash, so something like Cheap Shot or Sudden Impact can be very useful. However, a huge rune that is often overlooked in matchups where you play as an AP champion is Ravenous Hunter. Since Conqueror no longer gives ranged champions the same healing, Ravenous Hunter helps make up for that by allowing you to heal a bit off of your abilities, giving you that same sustain you know and love. So, the next time you want to try out a fun, new AP champion, maybe consider suiting them up with this sexy rune.